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What to Include in a Resume Skills Section

What to Include in a Resume Skills Section

Landing a dream job is something on the bucket list of most career-oriented individuals. It’s a surreal experience when you have worked hard to get a certain job, and you finally manage to get it.

The job market is a tough place. There are so many applicants for employers to choose from. Leading employers received thousands of job applications during recruitment, and the best resume wins.

Having a strong resume is crucial these days. It’s how you make your first impression on a panel of recruiters, and if it isn’t designed well and they can tell you haven’t spent time on it, you’re probably not going to get the job.

Civil service jobs, in particular, are very competitive. Many people want to work in this sector, but extensive studying and exams come in the way. A selective few, however, manage to ace these exams, but that’s just the beginning. You need a great CV to help you secure your civil service job.

Today we’ll be focusing on the skills section of your resume, and how you can perfect it:

What is the skills section?

There are multiple sections of a resume that range from education to work experience, but the most important one of them all is the skills section.

The skills you list tell an employer whether or not you’ll be able to complete the tasks associated with the job.


Customize your resume skills section

One very important tip that most recruitment specialists will agree to is that a job applicant should tailor their resume to every job they are applying for. Sending the same resume to every job vacancy won’t hit the nail on the head.

Customize the skills section of your resume to match the job posting. The more similar words and phrases used in a resume to match the job requirements, the more a recruiter will pick up on the fact that you’re a good choice for the job. This increases your chances of getting chosen for the interview.

Most employers now run resumes through an automated applicant tracking system. This system scans the candidate’s resume and picks up on keywords. Customizing your resume for every job increases your chances of getting selected.

Multiple skills sections

Some jobs require multiple types of skills, and defining those skills clearly can really improve the readability of your resume. If a resume an executive is reading a resume, they give each resume around 7 seconds and so formatting your CV to make it easier on the eyes goes a long way to help you. Applicants tend to incorporate computer skills and language skills in separate lists so that they can differentiate between them.

For civil service job applications, being multilingual, for example, can really help. As such, you must highlight any languages you speak to draw the reader’s eye to it. Knowing how to operate various computer software can also help organize data collected by the office you’re applying to.

What are soft skills?

Soft skills are subjective and also known as interpersonal skills. These skills are something you learn and work on over the years, making you better at your job. Some recruitment experts suggest that it’s the soft skills that differentiate job applicants. They could all have the same computer skills, but their leadership or problem-solving skills can make them ideal for a job.

As such, you must mention soft skills on your resume and cover letter. For a police officer, for example, essential soft skills extend from non-verbal communication to critical thinking. There are various situations where a police officer will have to utilize these soft skills.

Job-specific skills vs. transferable skills 

Every job requires a certain set of skills and abilities. A candidate must possess those skills to excel at a job. Some skills are learned during classes and training, while others are learned on the job.

Job-specific skills vary from organization to organization and position to position. An IT help desk employee, for example, will require extensive computer skills to help others out, while a teacher requires training to deal with behavioral issues with children, lesson planning, and communication.

On the other hand, transferable skills are your abilities that can be used across various jobs and careers. They’re learned over the years through experiences in school, college, internships, volunteering experience, and past jobs. These experiences teach you valuable lessons that you can carry forward to your new job.

Not every skill needs to be included in a resume

The main issue job applicants face when developing a CV is that they don’t know when to stop. They try to cram all the information about their school life, internships, apprenticeships, university, and past jobs. As we said before, recruiters only spend 7 seconds per application. As such, you must provide them with the information they seek within those 7 seconds—and that means not including every single one of your skills in your resume; only those that are relevant for the job.

Experts usually advise job applicants to stay away from vague skills and phrases in their resume. These sentences take up valuable space without adding value to your resume. Don’t add skills that aren’t pertinent to a job as that will only waste the time of the person looking through the applications.


If you’re looking to kickstart a career in the civil services, get in touch with Civil Service Success. We have over 45 years of experience in helping candidates fulfill their dreams of becoming civil servants. Our instructors are selected based on their skills, experience, level of success, and background. Our instructors range from retired court officers, firefighters, police officers, and sanitation workers who excelled in their respective fields.

As an esteemed civil service exam preparation school in New York City, we provide the best preparation classes for various civil service exams. We help candidates prepare for the Suffolk Police test, the NYC firefighter exams, NYS Court Officer, and NYC Sanitation Worker exams.

We offer extensive exam workshops, exam guidance, and make-up classes. Considering how civil service exams are consistently updated, we ensure all our guidance and teaching materials up-to-date.

Get in touch with us today for more information.


By |2020-10-16T20:42:14+00:00October 14th, 2020|Blog|0 Comments

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